My family adores fried food. Then again, I think most people adore fried food. I understand that I am more of the exception than the rule in my dislike of fried foods. However, I also appreciate that my family enjoys different foods than I. So when my husband sent a recipe for fried chicken that looked delicious, I figured I should give it a whirl. When our 16 year old daughter happened to walk by laptop and see the recipe and ask if perhaps we’d be having fried chicken, I was 100% certain that I would need to work on mastering this dish.
Real fried chicken. That’s what I needed to make. I’ve made oven fried chicken in a variety of versions, but none were truly fried. Although my family thought it was fine, no one thought it was close enough to be considered fried. So, I reviewed the recipe my husband had sent to gather some ideas on how I would make my own version. What seemed to be key was soaking the chicken in buttermilk. Over the summer we began brining chicken breasts prior to grilling, and that made a huge flavor in the juiciness. So, hanging out in buttermilk would be key.
My three other key items were making sure that the chicken was thoroughly cooked, having a crunchy exterior, and adding a nice amount of flavor. I accomplished the first two with a two-part cooking system- frying then baking on wire racks. The third item was luckily/purposely choosing the right seasonings.
This chicken was a hit. With only my husband and daughter home that night, there was plenty to enjoy that night and the next day. Both of them loved it. The coating was crispy, the chicken was well-cooked and juicy. Served with cole slaw, it was dinner that made two of my favorite diners quite happy.
- 3 lb. chicken breasts & thighs
- 1 qt. buttermilk
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tb. salt
- 1-1/2 Tb. garlic powder
- 1 Tb. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. oregano
- black pepper
- canola oil
- Place chicken pieces into a large bowl. Add buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Place wire rack on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and leave on counter.
- Place another wire rack on a second baking sheet and place in oven.
- Place large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 3/4″ of oil to pan.
- Pour flour into a 13×9 pan. Add all spices; stir to combine.
- When oil reaches 350, cooking can begin.
- Remove one piece of chicken from buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge in flour mixture and place into hot oil.
- Add more pieces, being sure not to crowd the pan.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown.
- Transfer to paper towel-lined pan.
- After oil has dripped off, a minute or two, transfer to rack in oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.